Richard and Looking for Richard

Topics: Richard III, Al Pacino, Looking for Richard Pages: 3 (1111 words) Published: March 30, 2011
Humans find resonance in connections to ideas, values and concepts. Art and literature are shaped by the society in which they are made. In this, the values of the contextual society will impact, in some way, upon the outcome come of the piece of work as the creator seeks to appeal to their audience. However, the values presented by Shakespeare in his tragedy, written in the 15th century, Richard III (RIII) transcend Shakespeare’s contextual world and coincide with the values we hold today. The continuing relevance of the play RIII is fuelled by our contemporary societies desire to re-evaluate the role of women, characterisation of villains (Richard) and the role of materialism in modern day contexts. This desire is depicted through the 1998 doco-drama ‘Looking for Richard’ (‘LFR’) by Al Pacino. Pacino explores his contextual society’s values and the impact they have upon art and theatre as he seeks to find connections and comparisons between the values of Shakespeare, Shakespeare’s contextual society and his own contemporary audience. - Shakespeare’s personal values are depicted through the text and the underlying meaning of the text lies with a valuing of women and this is what connects us to this text, ensuring resonance in a contemporary society. Despite the contextual values, Shakespeare gives strong, prophetic and critical voices to the female characters of ‘Riii’. The women; ‘Anne’, ‘Margaret’, ‘Elizabeth’ and the ‘Duchess of York’ accurately depict the circumstances, characters and moral stances of the tragedy. ‘Thou hadst a Clarence too, and Richard killed him.’. Through mourning, cursing and prophesising the women provide insightful social commentary about the true nature of the nobility and their male counterparts. “Edward for Edward plays a dying debt”. The power of their speech and character is reinforced by strong animal imagery ‘rooting hog’ and Queen Elizabeth’s ability to match Richard in linguistics and wit “send to her by the man that slew...
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